Catherine Connors is a mother, writer and recovering academic who traded the lecture hall for the playroom and discovered that university students and preschoolers have much the same attention span. She still dips her toes into academic waters by writing the occasional scholarly article about the place of motherhood in Western philosophy, but mostly now she changes diapers and wipes noses and indulges in long reflections on whether Yo Gabba Gabba is a harbinger of the decline of western civilization. Oh, and she blogs: in addition to Bad Mother blogging at BeliefNet, she is, among other things, the author of HerBadMother.com, Managing Editor of MamaPop, moderator of Her Bad Mother’s Basement, co-founder and co-editor of WeCovet, Contributing Editor at BlogHer, and (deep breath) founder of and contributor to Canada Moms Blog. And in her spare time… oh, wait. She doesn’t have spare time. But she’s okay with that.
I wrote this post four years ago today. Four years ago, when the girl – my girl! – was a wee baby and I already knew (that is: sort of, maybe, had a good guess about) what I was in for…
This child is kicking my butt.
She has suddenly become
immeasurably stronger, faster and more willful than the strong, fast,
willful baby that she was yesterday. Or the day before that. I don’t
know anymore. I can’t remember. Because I am SO FREAKING TIRED.
Not, mind you, from lack of sleep. WonderBaby sleeps through the night; she has done, with the exception of the odd night here and there (and on vacations) since about four months. Ever since we bust free of the swaddle, finally, and got her into her nursery and her crib. Lucky, lucky Bad Mother, you’re saying. Pretty baby sleeps through the night!
If she didn’t sleep through the night I’d be dead by now. So it’s
simply Nature’s small mercy that she sleeps through the
night. Because she ain’t interested in sleeping during the day, except
for the odd catnap here and there. Or maybe one hour in the morning and
THAT’S IT. Nada más. Ya esta.
This might not be so bad if she weren’t a turbo-charged baby hell-bent on world domination. Starting with complete and total domination over Mommy. (Scratch that. Mama. MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA.)
It was all light-hearted, really, when I began referring to my bright little baby as Future Ruler of the Known and Unknown Universe. But I should have known. She has been, um, spirited from
the very beginning. Her eyes were wide open and she was hollering
before she’d even made it all the way out of my life-ushering nethers.
She was ready for biznass.
I was thrilled, proud. My
baby, warrior princess and future philosopher-queen! Watch out, world.
My sweet little despot is going to Kick. Your. A**.
What I didn’t anticipate: that first, she’d kick mine.
hungry? More boobie! And then – lunch! Which must be carefully arranged
so that she can feed herself. Unless Mama wants to hear some screaming.
So the banana and avocado are broken into slices and set on tray.
Cereal is spooned into cup with baby-friendly spoon at hand. And then
WonderBaby feeds WonderBaby, until WonderBaby grows tired of feeding
WonderBaby and Mama must act NOW to get peas (NO NO NO not bananas avocado cereal those are for WonderBaby hands only! Peas! With new spoon! NOW.)
I would make a joke about visualizing whirled peas or giving peas a chance, but that’s just not funny right now, in this STATE OF WAR…
wants to move? WonderBaby will walk, thank you very much. Which
requires the presence of Mama’s hands for balance. Until we reach the
couch/ottoman/rail/cat, and then WonderBaby must be left alone. ALONE.
To revel in her standing power.
crawling thing of two weeks ago? SOOO two weeks ago. Crawling is
reserved for the clinch, for pursuing wayward toys and chasing cats.
Otherwise, crawling is for chumps. Walking is where it’s at. Never mind
the physical limitations of a 6-and-a-half month old body. If world
domination requires upright mobility, upright-mobility-training
commences now. NOW.)
(Pictures? Of the
standing/walking/tearing at Mama’s arms? Oh, my god, are you kidding? Pictures
are now only possible when child is restrained. Or terrorizing cats in
WonderBaby wants action? Bash toys. Bash
Mama with toys. Climb Mama. Pummel Mama until she agrees to go to the
park. Refuse to recline in stroller. Sit straight up clutching toys as
stroller bounces over curbs. Then insist upon being carried. Then
squirm. Squirm more forcefully. Insist upon being put to ground, feet
first, to commence walking. Shriek at any sign of resistance.
Keep pushing that swing, peon! Push or I’ll vomit!
that playground like the motherfracking future ruler of the universe
that you are. Yeah, you, Hippy-Granny-in-the-straw-hat, you’re her
betch, too. Dance! (Cue hippy granny twirling in circles for the sweet, sweet reward of high-pitched WonderBaby giggles. Hippy
granny does not realize that this is the dolphin-pitched war cry of the
WonderBaby summoning her Army of Infants. Mothers of Toronto – or of
the immediate vicinity of Dufferin Grove Park – if your babies are
rattling their crib rails and agitating, it is because they have heard
the cry and are preparing to take us all down. Be on your guard.)
(You think I’m joking.)
child is not seven months old and I’m already whipped. And exhausted.
So exhausted. And in dire need of a martini, and pissed off that my
body no longer tolerates martinis, because how the hell am I supposed to get through the coming months, years, without the cool solace of vodka shaken over ice?
Damn it but this is tough. So tough.
But, but… (You knew this was coming.)
Such sweet, sweet domination. How could I be anything other than completely in her thrall?
Still. One of these days I’m going to do a post entitled How To Know If Your Child Is A Future Despot, which will be based upon a close textual analysis of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia and my personal experiences with WonderBaby. And my tongue will not be in cheek.
Originally posted at Her Bad Mother, oh, some gajillion (which is to say, exactly 4) years ago. And, look! I HAVE SURVIVED.
(Actually, I keep losing my mind from OH THE ANXIETY, but we all knew that that was going to happen, so.)